Diamond is the most precious material on earth. Besides of its scarcity, diamond is also the hardest material on earth. Therefore it is adopted as the name of this Buddhist text. The full name of this text is: “金刚般若波罗密经”. “金刚” means hard/impenetrable; “般若” means wisdom; “波罗密” means conducts leading to liberation; “经” means sutra/text. Together it means: The text on the impenetrable wisdom towards liberation and enlightenment.
In the 6 core practices of Mahayana Buddhism (others 5 being charity, precepts, diligence, endurance, and concentration); wisdom is the last and perhaps the most important one. A clear and firm understanding and application of this impenetrable wisdom facilitates the practice of other 5, while the study and practice of other 5 does not necessarily results in arising of this wisdom. Therefore, in the foundation study of Chinese philosophy and spirituality, the Diamond Sutra is selected as a core text to be studied together with Daoist Daodejing and Confucius Analects.